Benefits Eligibility

The following information is a summary of the eligibility rules as outlined in WAC 182-12-114.  If there is a conflict between the information on this webpage and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), the WAC rules will govern.  Use the following links to see the benefits eligibility criteria for your classification type.

Civil Service/Bargaining Unit/Administrative Professional • Non-Student Temporary Hourly Employees
Faculty • Resources

For questions, please contact HRS Benefits at 509-335-4521 or hrs@wsu.edu.

Civil Service (CS), Bargaining Unit (BU), Administrative Professional (AP)

When your appointment is . . .

  • at least 50% Full Time Equivalency, and
  • for more than six consecutive months.

All CS, BU, and AP positions at WSU automatically meet this criterion.

Contact HRS immediately if you are a new CS, BU, or AP employee and have not received information about your benefits.  Additional information can also be viewed on the New Employees webpage.

Coverage starts …

On the first day of the month following the date of employment, unless the appointment begins on the first working day of the month, in which case eligibility/benefits will begin on that date.

For example:

  • If your appointment begins on August 16, 2012 – your benefits would begin the first of the month following the date of employment, therefore your benefits would begin on September 1, 2012.
  • If your appointment begins on September 4, 2012 – this is the first working day of the month, therefore your benefits would begin on September 4, 2012.

Coverage continues if …

  • a 50% or greater appointment in an eligible job classification is maintained, and
  • the employee is in paid status for eight hours or more in each month*.

Layoffs: laid off CS or BU employees will be eligible for benefits in any month they work eight hours or more in any type of WSU employment within 24 months of the initial layoff.

*Exception: benefits can be continued during periods of full Leave Without Pay during Family Medical Leave provided the employee pays their portion of the premiums.

Note:  Eight hour rule.  HCA/PEBB states that if an employee is in paid status for eight hours a month, they are eligible for maintaining benefits.  HRS/WSU must determine how that eight hours of pay is arrived at.  Employees/departments cannot arbitrarily plug in eight hours of leave a month to maintain benefits – the use of leave must be in compliance with state and university leave rules.

Summer/Off-Season Benefit Eligibility:

Eligible for summer/off-season coverage: Cyclic employees on nine month or more appointments are eligible for benefits during their cyclic break.

Cyclic employees on less than nine month appointments are not eligible for benefits during their cyclic break.

Non-Student Temporary Hourly Employees (NSTE)

The Lecturer title codes of 8017 and 8018 are counted as temporary hourly.

When your appointment is . . .

NSTE can become eligible for benefits:

  • upon the initial appointment,
  • based on the work pattern, or
  • if they are a recurring seasonal employee.

See the Temporary/Seasonal Employee Benefits webpage for additional details/information.

Coverage starts . . .

For initial appointment eligibility: on the first day of the month following the date of employment, unless the appointment begins on the first working day of the month, in which case eligibility/benefits will begin on that date.

For example:

  • If your appointment begins on August 16, 2012 – your benefits would begin the first of the month following the date of employment, therefore your benefits would begin on September 1, 2012.
  • If your appointment begins on September 4, 2012 – this is the first working day of the month, therefore your benefits would begin on September 4, 2012.

For work pattern eligibility: on the first day of the seventh month if the employee is anticipated to work at least eight hours in the seventh month.

For seasonal employees: see the Temporary/Seasonal Employee Benefits webpage for additional details/information.

Coverage continues if . . .

The employee works eight or more hours of work per month.

If/when an employee does not work eight or more hours in a month, they will lose eligibility.

Note: Eight hour rule. HCA/PEBB states that if an employee is in paid status for eight hours a month, they are eligible for maintaining benefits.  HRS/WSU must determine how that eight hours of pay is arrived at.  Employees/departments cannot arbitrarily plug in eight hours of leave a month to maintain benefits – the use of leave must be in compliance with state and university leave rules.

Summer/Off-Season Benefit Eligibility:

Not applicable in most cases.

Employees on seasonal appointments for a nine month or more season are eligible for off-season benefits following each season worked.

Faculty hired on 9-12 month appointments

When your appointment is . . .

  • at least 50% Full Time Equivalency, and
  • for nine months or more.

All academic and permanent Faculty appointments should meet this criterion.

Coverage starts . . .

On the first day of the month following the date of employment, unless the appointment begins on the first working day of the month, in which case eligibility/benefits will begin on that date.

For example:

  • If your appointment begins on August 16, 2012 – your benefits would begin the first of the month following the date of employment, therefore your benefits would begin on September 1, 2012.
  • If your appointment begins on September 4, 2012 – this is the first working day of the month, therefore your benefits would begin on September 4, 2012.

Coverage continues if . . .

  • a 50% or greater appointment in an eligible job classification is maintained, and
  • the employee is in paid status for eight hours or more in each month*.

*Exception: benefits can be continued during periods of full Leave Without Pay during Family Medical Leave provided the employee pays their portion of the premiums.

Note: Eight hour rule.  HCA/PEBB states that if an employee is in paid status for eight hours a month, they are eligible for maintaining benefits.  HRS/WSU must determine how that eight hours of pay is arrived at.  Employees/departments cannot arbitrarily plug in eight hours of leave a month to maintain benefits – the use of leave must be in compliance with state and university leave rules.

Summer/Off-Season Benefit Eligibility:

Eligible for summer coverage: if the faculty member works half time or more throughout the instructional year (or equivalent nine month period) AND works each semester.

Not eligible for summer coverage: as of the date specified in the employee’s resignation letter.

Faculty hired on semester to semester appointments

When your appointment is . . .

A semester-to-semester appointment of 50% Full Time Equivalency, or more.

Coverage starts . . .

On the first day of the month following the start of the second semester, unless the second semester starts on the first working day of the month, in which case benefits will begin on that date.

Coverage continues if . . .

  • the employee works on a semester-to-semester basis while maintaining a 50% or greater appointment, and
  • the employee is in paid status for eight hours or more in each month*.

*Exception: benefits can be continued during periods of full Leave Without Pay during Family Medical Leave provided the employee pays their portion of the premiums.

Note: Eight hour rule.  HCA/PEBB states that if an employee is in paid status for eight hours a month, they are eligible for maintaining benefits.  HRS/WSU must determine how that eight hours of pay is arrived at.  Employees/departments cannot arbitrarily plug in eight hours of leave a month to maintain benefits – the use of leave must be in compliance with state and university leave rules.

Summer/Off-Season Benefit Eligibility:

Eligible for summer coverage: if the faculty member works half time or more throughout the instructional year (or equivalent nine month period) AND works each semester.

Not eligible for summer coverage: if they are not anticipated to be reappointed and they have been issued a non-reappointment letter, OR as of the date specified in the employee’s resignation letter.

Non-Academic Faculty

When your appointment is . . .

  • at least 50% Full Time Equivalency, and
  • for more than six consecutive months.

Coverage starts . . .

On the first day of the month following the date of employment, unless the appointment begins on the first working day of the month, in which case eligibility/benefits will begin on that date.

For example:

  • If your appointment begins on August 16, 2012 – your benefits would begin the first of the month following the date of employment, therefore your benefits would begin on September 1, 2012.
  • If your appointment begins on September 4, 2012 – this is the first working day of the month, therefore your benefits would begin on September 4, 2012.

Coverage continues if . . .

  • a 50% or greater appointment in an eligible job classification is maintained, and
  • the employee is in paid status for eight hours or more in each month*.

*Exception: benefits can be continued during periods of full Leave Without Pay during Family Medical Leave provided the employee pays their portion of the premiums.

Note: Eight hour rule.  HCA/PEBB states that if an employee is in paid status for eight hours a month, they are eligible for maintaining benefits.  HRS/WSU must determine how that eight hours of pay is arrived at.  Employees/departments cannot arbitrarily plug in eight hours of leave a month to maintain benefits – the use of leave must be in compliance with state and university leave rules.

Summer/Off-Season Benefit Eligibility:Employees on nine month or more appointments are eligible for benefits during the summer/off-season.

Employees on less than nine month appointments are not eligible for benefits during the summer/off-season.

Administrative and Research* Faculty

*Contact HRS for clarification

When your appointment is . . .

  • at least 50% Full Time Equivalency, and
  • for more than six consecutive months.

Coverage starts . . .

On the first day of the month following the date of employment, unless the appointment begins on the first working day of the month, in which case eligibility/benefits will begin on that date.

For example:

  • If your appointment begins on August 16, 2012 – your benefits would begin the first of the month following the date of employment, therefore your benefits would begin on September 1, 2012.
  • If your appointment begins on September 4, 2012 – this is the first working day of the month, therefore your benefits would begin on September 4, 2012.

Coverage continues if . . .

  • a 50% or greater appointment in an eligible job classification is maintained, and
  • the employee is in paid status for eight hours or more in each month*.

*Exception: benefits can be continued during periods of full Leave Without Pay during Family Medical Leave provided the employee pays their portion of the premiums.

Note: Eight hour rule.  HCA/PEBB states that if an employee is in paid status for eight hours a month, they are eligible for maintaining benefits.  HRS/WSU must determine how that eight hours of pay is arrived at.  Employees/departments cannot arbitrarily plug in eight hours of leave a month to maintain benefits – the use of leave must be in compliance with state and university leave rules.

Summer/Off-Season Benefit Eligibility:

Eligible for summer coverage: if the faculty member works half time or more throughout the instructional year (or equivalent nine month period) AND works each semester.

Not eligible for summer coverage: if they are not anticipated to be reappointed and they have been issued a non-reappointment letter, OR as of the date specified in the employee’s resignation letter.

Other benefit considerations for Faculty

Faculty members who have a break in Washington state higher education service and return to work within 12 months of losing their benefit eligibility and return to work for at least one semester, will re-establish eligibility for benefits as of the first day of the month in which the quarter/semester/date of employment begins.<!– [if gte mso 9]>

Faculty whose Full Time Equivalency drops below 50%, and who, on average, were paid 50% or more in each of the two preceding academic years, may be able to maintain benefit eligibility.  You must notify HRS Benefits in writing of your possible eligibility under this provision within 31 days of your Appointment Begin Date.

Faculty appointments at other Washington State Higher Education institutions may also impact eligibility for faculty.  Please contact HRS Benefits if you have employment at another higher education institution.

Washington State University